Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 4, 2019

A top issue for Progressive Maryland, the Fight for $15 as a minimum wage statewide, has been passed by the House but with Economic Matters Committee amendments that make it narrower and less helpful to working people than the original bill. Progressives will fight to keep the Senate version “clean” and persuade House members that they should accept the better bill when it comes time to reconcile their version with the Senate bill.  Tonight, Monday, Mar. 4, we’ll be visiting the offices of House members with that message. after the news conference (see below).

Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday March 4 2019

The Maryland General Assembly has just hit the halfway point on the way to the April 8 sine die and Progressive Maryland, in harness with many progressive allies, is working to advance a progressive agenda during the session as well as in all of 2019.

A top issue, the Fight for $15 as a minimum wage statewide, has been passed by the House but with Economic Matters Committee amendments that make it narrower and less helpful to working people than the original bill. Progressives will fight to keep the Senate version “clean” and persuade House members that they should accept the better bill when it comes time to reconcile their version with the Senate bill.  Tonight, Monday, Mar. 4, we’ll be visiting the offices of House members with that message. after the news conference (see below).

And we’ll be conducting Movement Politics Training, where we show how important organizing in your community between elections, if you really want to have impact at the ballot box. Movement politics training is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 beginning at 10 AM. Here’s more:

 

Fight for $15

Progressive Maryland will be a major participant in a news conference TONIGHT, Monday March 4, on the status of Del. Mary Anne Lisanti of Harford, who has acknowledged using a racial slur in the company of colleagues. That conference will be coordinated with an information mission on the $15 minimum wage bill to member offices in the House office building to take place immediately afterward.

A critical goal is presenting Progressive Maryland’s stand on why there should be no exclusions to the bill's coverage of Maryland's workers.

The original versions of House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 280 would phase in the wage increase over five years and tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index. According to a reliable and authoritative poll released last week by Goucher College, as the bill has gotten more and more coverage – including pushback from business interests – public support for a $15 minimum wage has only grown. Now, a full two-thirds of respondents across the state (67 percent) support the $15 minimum wage. The House Economic Matters Committee weakened the bill severely to satisfy business interests, and the full House accepted the exclusions.   Pamela Wood covered the hearing for the Sun and later reported on the House votes.


MARCH FOR OUR SCHOOLS MARCH 11

6 PM at the Maryland State House, 100 State Circle Annapolis, MD 21401

Join Progressive Maryland as we stand with educators, parents, and students from across the state to demand fully funded and equitable public schools!


Are you interested in running for office, working on a campaign, or volunteering on one in 2020? Then we've got the perfect training for you. Progressive Maryland is excited to announce our the first one-day Movement Politics Training of 2019! 

We'll cover a range of topics from the process and rules of filing to run for office and how to run a campaign, including fundraising, campaign strategy, endorsements, field operations, communications, and budgeting. Click here to RSVP.

You'll also learn how the political system functions, why it’s currently failing Maryland voters, and what trainees can do to change that as we get ready for the next election cycle.

We want to empower passionate folks like you to have the skills and tools you need to change the political landscape in Maryland. In just one day, you will learn the tools of the trade from experienced organizers and will leave with the skills needed to launch and WIN your own electoral campaigns.

The training will be held in Baltimore on Saturday, March 16th. Space is limited so RSVP today! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Alexiss at 301-684-6715 or by email at alexiss@progressivemaryland.org


Appeals about progressive bills in the legislature are coming from our allies:

“Prescription drugs don't work if people can't afford them. That's why Marylanders need a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set fair and affordable rates for high-cost prescription drugs. Please contact your legislators)  and urge them to co-sponsor legislation to be introduced by Senator Kathy Klausmeier and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This bill will help make all high-cost prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders. We need this because the high cost of prescription drugs is making it hard for everyone to get the medications they need and driving up our premiums.” More here from the Maryland Center for Economic Policy and here is an op-ed by the bill’s co-sponsors.

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And according to a news release from DontWiden270, a MoCo citizen group, they are urging support for legislation to protect their homes and neighborhoods from Governor Hogan’s unpopular highway plan to add toll lanes to I-270. The legislation, HB-102, known as the “County Consent” bill, would prohibit construction of toll roads, highways, or bridges without the consent of a majority of the affected counties. The bill expands a current state law under which Eastern Shore counties have that privilege. For the bill text and a list of co-sponsors, see https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/HB102/2019. To read a petition urging passage of the bill, visit www.dontwiden270.org/supporthb102 . To read more about the toll roads controversy, see our BlogSpace post here .

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The Maryland Legislative Coalition is bird-dogging numerous progressive bills, most of which are in our wheelhouse if not always on our priorities list. This week they are focusing on getting some bills affecting public and individual health care and issues unstuck from committees so they can be considered by the other chamber. These are big committees so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone from your district there. And check out the Legislative Coalition’s essential list of upcoming committee hearings here.  Including an explanation of that mysterious “crossover date” March 18 that you are beginning to hear about.


Fellowship opportunity Friends of the Earth is recruiting applicants in 6 states including Pennsylvania and Maryland for our six month Grassroots Fellowship Program to begin in January 2019. Learn and utilize core organizing skills to take action to protect people and the environment. Focus is on training members of under-represented communities.  $2,000 monthly stipend with a commitment of 25 hours a week -- how to apply: https://foe.org/jobs/2019-grassroots-fellowship-program/


OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE

Progressive Prince George's

March 21, 2019 State's Attorney Forum  7PM - 10PM
Mt. Enon Baptist Church, 9832 Piscataway Rd
Clinton, MD 20735  Google map and directions Contact Seanniece Bamiro · seanniece@progressivemaryland.org ·

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings this spring in Prince George’s (April 11, 23, 27) and Montgomery (April 13, 24 and 25).


  PMD Montgomery

MDOT-SHA recently roused anger in Beltway country by dropping mass transit options from plans for Larry Hogan’s pet project, private toll lanes on I-494 and I-270. See our blog post. The agency has scheduled new informational meetings this spring in Prince George’s (April 11, 23, 27) and Montgomery (April 13, 24 and 25).


 Take Action Anne Arundel County

Polystyrene Foam Ban passes in Anne Arundel County

Now that Anne Arundel County’s Council has passed a polystyrene foam ban bill, over 50% of jurisdictions in Maryland are covered by an EPS Foam Ban. We look forward to the Maryland State Legislature passing HB109/SB285. Write or call your delegate and senator now to encourage them to pass this ban statewide. Passing legislation is a team effort.  It is time to do your part!

Environmental Action

Take Action AAC is working with grassroots organizations in the Earth Coalition on 4 key legislative bills focused on clean energy, banning polystyrene foam, banning chlorpyrifos (pesticide), and the right to a clean environment.

    Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB961/SB548 removing subsidies for trash incineration and for HB1158/SB516 for increased renewable energy in Maryland that creates good paying jobs in our state

    If you live in District 30A, ask Speaker Mike Busch and Delegate Alice Cain to protect the bay and ·  support HB1158, Clean Energy Jobs Act which will address sea level rise in Maryland

  • Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB 275 banning chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that is harmful to young children, pregnant women, bees and the environment.
  • Call or write your delegate and senator to show your support for HB109/SB285 which bans polystyrene foam food service containers and helps clean our streams, tributaries and bay from this harmful substance.

  Progressive Howard County

Note that the Howard County Times has a roundup of local bills in the Assembly...


Talbot Rising


 

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Check out the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus’s legislative agenda, including the Trust Act, Fight for $15, Medicare for All, clean air issues and more. Plus an explainer: why ranked choice voting would be good for the Shore.

Also, read the Caucus chair’s take on 2020 candidate mania – plus a recent blog post from the leadership team and a consideration of the need for reparations for slavery.


 

PMD Baltimore – We’re still talking about Medicare for All- -- You’ll see at the link, though, that our mission and values are much broader.


EVENTS FROM OUR PROGRESSIVE ALLIES

 
Monday, March 4 - ACLU Lobby Day:
6:00 pm Maryland General Assembly 100 State Circle Room 150, Annapolis  -- Dare to Create a Better Maryland. Demand action from legislators to end youth solitary confinement, defend the rights of immigrants, and protect against warrantless use of surveillance technology by law enforcement. Register: murphy@aclu-md.org


Wednesday, March 6
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform Lobby Day 10:15am - 1:00pm
Meet at House Office Building Room 142 6 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD 21401. More info, issues and RSVP here.

Thursday, March 7 -- Progressive Cheverly's monthly forums resume at 7 PM with a discussion on policing in Cheverly. Please join us for an evening with Sgt. Jarod J. Towers, Acting Police Chief since October 2018. He will share his vision for Cheverly and its Police Department, followed by a Q&A. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Hoyer Education Center (cafeteria) 2300 Belleview Ave. (Parking Available) in Cheverly

Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 pm

A community conversation will be hosted by County Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich. The focus will be on racial equity and social justice. Location is the Silver Spring Civic Center (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, Maryland)

Thursday, March 14 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Action in Montgomery (AIM) is holding a session on "Accountability Action on Equity in Education, Affordable Housing and Immigration" with the new County Executive and Council.  The location is Bethel World Outreach Church (16227 Batchellors Forest Road, Olney, Maryland)


Baltimore progressives, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful activist calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/


Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous weeks are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blog posts:

 

March 01, 2019 Lisanti must resign, and we need a "Clean $15" for all

Progressive Maryland members who have been mobilizing for a Lobby Night March 4 will shift our focus to a news conference that evening at 6 PM in the House Office Building (Room 142) to urge Del. Mary Anne Lisanti’s resignation and follow it with a mass distribution of information for House members as the Fight for $15 moves to the full Assembly.

February 27, 2019 CITIZEN LOBBYING MAKES A DIFFERENCE AND IS FULFILLING. TRY IT MARCH 4.

Progressive Maryland activists and allies are going to lobby their legislators in Annapolis the evening of Monday, March 4, and you should be among them.

Why does citizen lobbying matter? "...companies, trade groups and organizations spent $44 million on 153 lobbyists" and it takes numbers to fight cash. See more, read on, and sign up.

February 26, 2019 It’s time to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board

Prescription drugs cost too much. Everybody who needs medication for a chronic or recurring condition knows what a burden the increasing costs of prescription drugs are for them and those like them. And all prescription drug buyers -- that's all of us, sooner or later -- get sticker shock while Big Pharma keeps raising prices. Two Maryland legislators are proposing a new law that would bring these costs into line with what people can afford. Here, in a guest column for Maryland Reporter, they outline the bill’s purpose and effects.

 

February 25, 2019 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 25, 2019

The Maryland General Assembly has just hit the halfway point on the way to the April 8 sine die and Progressive Maryland, in harness with many progressive allies, is working to advance a progressive agenda during the session as well as in all of 2019.

 

 February 23, 2019 A $15 minimum wage should be REALLY statewide – everybody in, nobody out

Members of the powerful House Economic Matters Committee are scheduled to vote on their House version of the $15 minimum wage bill – statewide, no exclusions for tipped workers – on Monday (Feb. 25). The National Employment Law Project explains why it should stay that way, with no exclusions or "carve-outs."


 >>REMEMBER – these blog posts are expressions of political opinion from our wide-ranging membership and circle of allies. They are not expressions of opinion by Progressive Maryland. Don’t be surprised if they sometimes vary in their political content. You might even disagree with them – a good reason to contribute a blog of your own. Send it to the moderator, Woody Woodruff, at woodlanham@gmail.com.

>>Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace from June 2015 through December 2016 are all available with descriptions and links here. You can follow blogs for 2017-18 starting from here